The Las Vegas oddsmakers think less of the Vikings now than they did before the draft, or at least think more of other teams in the NFC. The latest odds reflect love for the AFC and a reshuffling of teams following the draft.
The draft is over and, is usually the case, the preseason Super Bowl odds have been updated to reflect the draft and draft-weekend trades. The Las Vegas oddsmakers have adjusted their betting odds as a result and the Vikings have taken something of a hit in that regard.
The Colts have been installed as an 8:1 favorite to win the Super Bowl next February according to the gaming website Bodog.com, while the Jets have seen their odds drop from 25:1 to 12:1 thanks to a strong free-agent signing period and a draft that addressed many of their needs.
The defending champion Saints are second at 9:1, followed by the Chargers and Patriots at 10:1. The Cowboys have surpassed the Vikings as the next-highest favorite in the NFC at 11:1, followed by the Jets at 12:1. The Vikings and Packers tied for the next-highest ranking at 14:1. Three teams – Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Baltimore – all tied at 18:1.
Other teams have considerably longer odds. If a team you like is in the following groups, they may be worth throwing a few bucks on. The team with longer odds are as follows: 25:1 – Atlanta, Houston, New York Giants, Washington; 28:1 – Tennessee; 30:1 – Carolina, Cincinnati, Miami, San Francisco; 35:1 – Chicago; 40:1 – Arizona, Seattle;
50:1 – Denver; 70:1 – Jacksonville; 80:1 – Cleveland, Detroit, Oakland; 90:1 – Kansas City; 100:1 – Buffalo, St. Louis, Tampa Bay.
It would seem clear that the oddsmakers like the AFC, since three of the top four teams and four of the top six favorites are from the AFC.
It would also appear that they don't have the same amount of faith in the Vikings that they had a couple of months ago, since they've been passed by the Cowboys and tied by the Packers. However, one thing that can be taken from all of this is that the NFC is expected to be wide open in 2010.
For those of you looking to get your Nate Triplett or Joe Webb jerseys early, the Vikings announced the numbers that will be assigned to their rookie class. They are as follows: Chris Cook No. 31; Toby Gerhart No. 32; Everson Griffen No. 97; Chris DeGeare No. 72; Triplett No. 58; Webb No. 14; Mickey Shuler No. 84; and Ryan D'Imperio No. 44.
The Vikings have invited several undrafted players to join them at this weekend's minicamp. Among them are OL Bill Noethlich of Minnesota State-Mankato, DB Matt Winney of Wisconsin-LaCross, LB Jaevery McFadden of Wisconsin and Tyler Roehl of North Dakota State, who spent training camp of last year with the Seahawks.
Any interest the Vikings might have had in free-agent running back Brian Westbrook might be for naught. The veteran has passed a physical with the Rams and might sign with St. Louis as early as this week.
Chad Clifton's days with the Packers may be numbered. Word out of Green Bay is that rookie Bryan Bulaga is going to line up at left tackle for the team's upcoming minicamp.
There is no word whether the Vikings will have any interest in recently-released Jacksonville DT John Henderson. The former Pro Bowl player has already drawn interest from several teams and has a visit scheduled with the Chiefs.
The same could be true for guards Alan Faneca and Arron Sears. Faneca was released Sunday by the Jets and Sears was released by the Buccaneers Monday.
Former Viking Chris Hovan, whose job became expendable when the Bucs went line-heavy in the draft, was released by Tampa Bay Monday.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.